Wednesday, December 22, 2010

22 December 2010 Update!

We have had an eventful week. Last week, a team of students from First Baptist Church Oxford arrived in Peru to continue the church's ministry to the Lamista Quechua people in the northern jungle area of Peru. (See photo to the right.) We had finished three long days of ministry and were asleep when Jeff's cell phone rang around 2 a.m. Liesa was calling with the news that Granny (her grandmother) had died suddenly. Many of you know Granny because she has been such a big part of our lives for so many years. Granny is now in perfect presence of our powerful Lord Jesus.

On Wednesday morning Jeff left the FBC Oxford group in the capable hands of a national partner (Thank God for Jose!) and flew back to Lima. Although we were grieving, we were comforted by the certainty of Granny's faith. After talking with the fine capitalistic folks at Delta Airlines (I like making money, too), it was determined that they would not be willing to change our already purchased tickets to Mississippi unless we put $6,000 bucks in their pockets (Jerks.). Well, that's not good stewardship so Liesa's family graciously agreed to wait for us to get to Mississippi for the funeral.

We arrived in Mississippi on Monday morning (Dec 20) and prepared for visitation at the funeral home that evening. The funeral was yesterday (Dec 21) in Brandon, MS and Meridian, MS. Jeff was honored to be able to speak at the funeral. Here's the scripture he used...

Matthew 2:9-12
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Jeff talked about two important gifts that Granny had given to her family in her lifetime: A Life that loved God, and a Life that loved family. It was a very meaningful time of remembering the way God was faithful and worked miracles through Granny's life.

Today, December 22, Liesa and Jeff are celebrating 20 years of marriage by doing all of our Christmas shopping! Lots to do! We plan to be Latin Americans today... break in line and drive like crazy maniacs. Should be an adventure.

We'll be able to speak in several churches while we're in the USA. Here's our schedule:
  • Sunday, January 2, 2011. First Baptist Yazoo City.
  • Wednesday, January 5, 2011. T.B.A.
  • Sunday, January 9, 2011. Morning at FBC Oxford. Evening at West Heights, Pontotoc.
  • Wednesday, January 12, 2011. FBC Oxford AWANA group.
  • Sunday, January 16, 2011. Salem Baptist Church, Lauderdale County.
  • Tuesday, January 18, 2011. Crossgates Baptist Church, Brandon, MS.
  • Wednesday, January 19, 2011. Open Date! Call us!
Finally, Thank You. God has used each of you who pray for us in so many ways. 2010 has been a challenging year...
  • Haylee being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • Being far away from family and friends in the USA.
  • Our REAP NORTH PERU team is slowly being taken apart using methods and for reasons we don't fully understand.
  • Trying to be team strategy leaders that are led by the Holy Spirit and trying to make sure our team members have what they need to do the jobs God has called them to do and at the same time trying to figure out how to manage so many different wonderful personalities.
  • Learning to be patient with national partners who seem only to want resources/funding from us instead of allowing us to learn from them and work with them.
Through all of these challenges, God has blessed us more than we deserve. Thank you for your prayers and support. We are blessed to have you as a part of our team.

Merry Christmas!
Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson!

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